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  • #16
    Originally posted by Roddoss72
    ...As for the cost alone, that equates to plenty of fighters, tanks, rifles, ammo and the like, i bet the other services would have love to have an additional 1.5 Billion Reichmarks to spend on war materiel, and again i bet the Army in particular would love to have an extra 350,000 tonnes of steel to produce tanks, SPG, tank destroyers, artillery pieces etc.
    I would have to check on the yearly expenditure but 1.5 billion RM likely won't go too far over 6 years of war . On the otherhand the 350,000 tons of steel is a known drop in the bucket. Take, for example, that the Germans produced about 31 *million* tons of steel in 1941 alone. So the fleets 350k tons is just 10% of one average year's production (a little over 1 month).

    As you can see, the German navy was neither a fuel guzzler, a steel hog or a financial burden when compared to the army or the air force. The big ships look impressive but their their cost of construction (in RM and resources) was spread over 12 years and thus not a significant drain on the other armed forces. Scrapping the production of the ships between 1929 and 1941 saves little in the grand scheme of things.
    Last edited by The Purist; 22 May 12, 14:48.
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
      I dunno. Capital plant being what it was in 1939-41 I don't see much material gain for the Germans. Dry docks used for ship and submarine construction cannot be converted into tank factories. Reserved skill trades such as welders, boiler makers, pipe fitters could be shifted to other jobs but how much capacity is there in the aircraft and motor industries to absob these tradesmen. Pipe fitters and boiler makers don't really have a job in an aircraft or tank/truck plant.
      The only measurabl gain may be in the stockpile of strategic materials being available for other uses but these cannot be "withdrawn" until the capital plant and skilled tradesmen are available.

      Then there is logistics. If the rail lines cannot manage to supply the motor/mech forces in front of Moscow in the OTL, adding more kit gains the Germans little to nothing.
      This needs to be assessed within the context of what Germany really needed in the 1941-42 period.

      Fuel. Petrol. Gasoline.

      The boilermakers, steam/pipefitters, and process engineers that would be realized as "extraneous" (around the dockyards) would have been welcomed with open arms by "Four Year Hermann" and his "ersatz" fuel industry; so would the additional steel, for that matter. These plants proved increasingly vital (as the war expanded) and there were never enough skilled trades to meet the ridiculous schedules imposed upon the entire scheme by the deteriorating situation. A few more "Leuna's", coming online a few years earlier might have meant that the training schools had sufficient avgas to maintain Luftwaffe training standards...even if for only another year.
      Potential implications?

      Who's to say?
      It didn't happen this way.

      But it could have.

      Cheers, Ron
      48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
      __________________________________________________ __________________

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      • #18
        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
        I would have to check on the yearly expenditure but 1.5 billion RM likely won't go too far over 6 years of war . On the otherhand the 350,000 tons of steel is a known drop in the bucket. Take, for example, that the Germans produced about 31 *million* tons of steel in 1941 alone. So the fleets 350k tons is just 10% of one average year's production (a little over 1 month).

        As you can see, the German navy was neither a fuel guzzler, a steel hog or a financial burden when compared to the army or the air force. The big ships look impressive but their their cost of construction (in RM and resources) was spread over 12 years and thus not a significant drain on the other armed forces. Scrapping the production of the ships between 1929 and 1941 saves little in the grand scheme of things.
        I don't know about that, just imagine that the Germans could have built an extra 1,500 Pz III or Pz IV for the initial stages of Barbarossa, with all those extra workers transferred from the Naval Slipways to the Panzerwaffe factories.

        Or how much of 350,000 tonnes of Iron (pre manufacture of Armour plate steel) would have been welcomed into the Luftwaffe or Heer into manufacturing Engines for aircraft and vehicles, and not forgetting not all vehicle engines ran on petrol some ran on diesel.

        Regardless of that the German Navy in as much with it's capital ships was a waste. Well that is my opinion anyway.

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        • #19
          Scrapping of the German Surface Fleet

          After the failure of Kummetz' battle squadron to achieve any success against JW51B, and the manner in which a small RN destroyer squadron, later supported by two light cruisers, were able to defeat a Panzershiffe, a heavy cruiser, and six destroyers, Hitler, as most of you probably know, order the decommissioning of most of the few surviving big ships.

          Needless to say, Raeder had his staff attempt to explain to Hitler how foolish this action would be, and I thought that the text of the early part of the staff response might be of interest, as it has some relevance to this discussion.

          It goes (in translation, of course!) as follows:-

          1). About 300 officers & 8,500 ratings would become available. This represents not quite 1.4% of the total naval personnel.

          2). If the ships were scrapped, 125,800 tons of steel would be obtained. This is less than one-twentieth of German monthly requirements.

          3). There would be a saving in raw materials, fuel, yard facilities, shipyard workers, etc. A large part of these savings would be consumed by mounting ships' guns as shore batteries.

          4). 15 batteries could be constructed from the guns thus made available. The first of these batteries would be ready for action a year after the order to scrap the ships, the 15th battery after 27 months.

          5). The scrapping would require the work of 7,000 men in 5 large shipyards for a period of about one and a half years.

          6). Effects on the submarine construction programme would be slight. Of the 300 officers available for reassignment, only about 50 would b e gained for the submarine branch, the others being too old or otherwise unsuitable.If the entire amount of steel from the scrapping of the ships was used for submarine construction, seven more submarines per month could be constructed, providing that 13,000 to 14,000 specialized workers could be allocated for this job.

          7). The paying off of the big ships would make it imperative to increase the number of destroyers and torpedo boats.

          Those are the relevant points; I hope you find them of interest.

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          • #20
            Cheers for that. It reinforces the point I was trying to make that scrapping the fleet adds little to Germany's war effort.
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Roddoss72
              I don't know about that, just imagine that the Germans could have built an extra 1,500 Pz III or Pz IV for the initial stages of Barbarossa, with all those extra workers transferred from the Naval Slipways to the Panzerwaffe factories.

              Or how much of 350,000 tonnes of Iron (pre manufacture of Armour plate steel) would have been welcomed into the Luftwaffe or Heer into manufacturing Engines for aircraft and vehicles, and not forgetting not all vehicle engines ran on petrol some ran on diesel....
              As has already been shown this view is incorrect. The steel (just a tiny percentage of Germany's annual output) does not mean new tanks, engines or aircraft unless the factory output can be increased or new factories brought on line. This was not possible until the capital plant invested in prior to the war begins to come on line in 1943 and 44. As for for fuel,... that 5.2 million tons per month required by the entire armed forces again speaks to the tiny consumption of the surface fleet.

              As DS points out above in support, scrapping the fleet would be of little to no benefit to German war making capacity.
              The Purist

              Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                As has already been shown this view is incorrect. The steel (just a tiny percentage of Germany's annual output) does not mean new tanks, engines or aircraft unless the factory output can be increased or new factories brought on line. This was not possible until the capital plant invested in prior to the war begins to come on line in 1943 and 44. As for for fuel,... that 5.2 million tons per month required by the entire armed forces again speaks to the tiny consumption of the surface fleet.

                As DS points out above in support, scrapping the fleet would be of little to no benefit to German war making capacity.
                Well you and DS have convinced me, what i was looking at it was in a way of a wishlist of diverted monies and materials.

                What i forgot in this the consumption of man power to actually scrap these ships and consumables to scrap these ships, it was expensive to build these ships and it would be expensive to scrap these ships.

                Thanks to both of you in opening my eye.

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                • #23
                  One problem here is that no U-boat campaign frees up over $10 billion in capital that the US put into fighting them. It frees up about $4 billion for Britain.

                  This means thousands more bombers, tanks, and other war implements are built instead of escort ships. It would actually have hurt Germany more, far more, to not have the Guerre de Course of the U-boat campaign than it hurts the Allies winning it.

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